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SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB: Week 46 Discussion - They Live

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by shadow_priest_x, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    NOTE to NON-MEMBERS: Interested in joining the SHERDOG MOVIE CLUB? Shoot me a PM for more info.


    With a sigh of relief from @MusterX, this week we'll be discussing @WebAlchemist's anti-authoritarian selection. . .


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    Director's Bio


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    They Live is directed by JOHN CARPENTER.

    From IMDB:

    John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University.

    He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles. He began making short films in 1962, and won an Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Subject in 1970, for The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970), which he made while at USC. Carpenter formed a band in the mid-1970s called The Coupe de Villes, which included future directors Tommy Lee Wallace and Nick Castle.

    Since the 1970s, he has had numerous roles in the film industry including writer, actor, composer, producer, and director. After directing Dark Star (1974), he has helmed both classic horror films like Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), and The Thing (1982), and noted sci-fi tales like Escape from New York (1981) and Starman (1984).



    Our Stars


    Roddy Piper: www.imdb.com/name/nm0684929/?ref_=nv_sr_1


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    Keith David: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0202966/?ref_=tt_cl_t2


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    Meg Foster: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001236/?ref_=tt_cl_t3


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    Film Overview and YouTube Videos


    Premise: A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

    Budget: $4 Million
    Box Office: $13 Million








    Trivia
    (courtesy of IMDB)​


    * The line "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum" was ad-libbed by Roddy Piper. According to director John Carpenter, Piper had taken the line from a list of ideas he had for his pro wrestling interviews.

    * The big fight sequence was designed, rehearsed and choreographed in the back-yard of director John Carpenter's production office. The fight between Nada (Roddy Piper) and Frank (Keith David) was only supposed to last twenty seconds, but Piper and David decided to fight it out for real, only faking the hits to the face and groin. They rehearsed the fight for three weeks. Carpenter was so impressed he kept the five minutes and twenty seconds scene intact.

    * Roddy Piper, being a married man at the time of filming, refused to take his wedding band off. That's why in several scenes you can see a wedding ring on.

    * John Carpenter wanted a truly rugged individual to play Nada. He cast wrestler Roddy Piper in the lead role after seeing him in WrestleMania III (1987). Carpenter remembered Keith David's performance in The Thing (1982) and wrote the role of Frank specifically for the actor.

    * According to a title-card in the made-for-DVD short documentary He Lives: Interview with John Carpenter (2013), "They Live opened at the #1 at the US box office. And disappeared from theaters soon afterwards".

    * Many movie posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they're people just like you. You're wrong. Dead wrong."

    * For years after the film's release - and even on the movie's DVD commentary - Roddy Piper maintained that the film was based on an actual incident in the 1950s in which a company manufactured a TV that planted subliminal messages in women's brains instructing them to make extravagant purchases. Piper was unaware that the "documentary" he had seen, L'affaire Bronswik (1978), was in fact a comedy short.

    * All the various aliens throughout the movie, both male and female, were portrayed by stunt coordinator Jeff Imada.

    * The aliens superficially resemble walking, rotting corpses. John Carpenter didn't want the aliens to look like the "high-tech" creatures of other science fiction films. He decided that since these beings were corrupting humanity, they themselves should resemble corruptions of human beings.

    * Roddy Piper was reported to have complained to producers when a pair of sunglasses he stole failed to reveal any aliens with the exception of those on set.

    * Writer-director John Carpenter has said of this movie that it was a critique of Reaganomics, a "vehicle to take on Reaganism". However, over the years, several neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups co-opted the movie for their own purpose, spreading rumors that it is really an allegory for Jews controlling the world. This forced Carpenter to respond on Twitter in 2017 by stating "They Live is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism. It has nothing to do with Jewish control of the world".

    * The communicators used by the guards near the end is also the PKE meter used in Ghostbusters (1984).

    * On an episode of Monstervision (1993) in 1997, Roddy Piper mentioned that John Carpenter had wanted him to discuss the film's political subtext (which was critical of Reaganomics) while doing promotions for the film. However, due to being in the United States on a green card, Piper felt it wasn't his place to discuss American politics. He also noted that he had rather liked President Reagan and thus didn't really agree with the film's politics, so he would shy away from talking about them while promoting the film.



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    Members: @shadow_priest_x @europe1 @EL CORINTHIAN @HUNTERMANIA @iThrillhouse @chickenluver @jeicex @MusterX @BeardotheWeirdo @In The Name Of @Coolthulu @AndersonsFoot @TheRuthlessOne @Scott Parker 27 @Mr Mojo Lane @WebAlchemist @the muntjac
     
    #1
  2. BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

    BisexualMMA
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    To this day I'm baffled by how Carpenter settled on this title for the movie.
     
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  3. AndersonsFoot Brown Belt

    AndersonsFoot
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    They Live never gets old to me. I love the concept of the glasses allowing you to see all of that. The fight scene with Piper and David was really well done IMO. It looked gritty and realistic. Nice twist as well. Piper did a fantastic job in this movie, would've loved to see him in more leading roles. The bubble gum line is iconic.

    I drive by the cabin that John grew up in on WKU's campus almost every day and I just can't look away sometimes. I go to school in Bowling Green, literally a mile off of WKU's campus so I'm on their campus all the time and I'm usually thinking about how cool it is that I'm roaming the same halls that John Carpenter did when he was young. Halloween may be my favorite movie ever so that's probably why I think it's so cool. John has a pretty funny quote that says "Everything I learned about evil, I learned in Bowling Green." I kind of take that as a compliment to our area because in some ways it was the inspiration for one of the most iconic horror minds.
     
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  4. BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

    BisexualMMA
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    It gets re-used by Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in Stand Up Guys. And I think the movie tried to pass it off as an original piece of dialogue. Making Al Pacino's descent in Dunkaccinoville even more painful.
     
    #4
  5. AndersonsFoot Brown Belt

    AndersonsFoot
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    Just checked out that scene on YouTube, wasn't nearly as cool as Piper.
     
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  6. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    It seems like they'd know the line is far too well known to attempt something like that.
     
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  7. MusterX Steel Belt

    MusterX
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    Well, I love this movie, its one of my favorites from my youth. Classic 1980's and with a deeper message. Obey, Consume, Submit, Watch T.V., Conform, Sleep, This is Your God (Mammon), etc. These are the very things that feel like lay under the surface of American life.

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    A consumer driven society where society is controlled by the very system "they live" within. They Live is about having an awakening to the realities of our culture, an awakening that most people never have for some reason. Its not so much, at least for me, about aliens subverting culture, even though they are very reptilian, that's another rabbit hole. I don't want to throw all the bullets on the table at once so I'm going to keep these posts bite sized.

    Our entire system of government, and society, and corporatism, is the real life realization of the movie They Live. If you would have told me when I was a teenager that someday banks would check credit and deny something as basic as a checking account based on credit score, and employers would deny jobs based on credit score, I would have laughed in your face and yet that is exactly what happened. Our entire system of credit is the biggest scam ever, designed to keep the majority a slave to debt and controlled by their debt score.

    Our government has set up a Big Brother style surveillance state and our federal reserve banking system demands we spend more, consume, consume, consume, or we are threatened that the economy will collapse. Everything about our media, our capitalism, our government, says don't think, just consume more, work, reproduce, die.

    And of course the fight scene which runs over 5 minutes and is glorious.



    9/10
     
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  8. AndersonsFoot Brown Belt

    AndersonsFoot
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    I forgot my rating

    8.5/10

    Which feels weird because I gave Vertigo and Citizen Kane only slightly higher scores.
     
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  9. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    Okay, so last night I watched this movie but I was SUPER drunk and woke up this morning only to realize that I remembered very little about it. I certainly didn't remember enough to properly review it. So I just watched it again, which makes twice in less than 24 hours.

    But I'm not complaining, because I really enjoyed it. I did see They Live once before, but for whatever reason the first time it just didn't really land with me. I'm not sure why; I suspect it was probably due to high expectations because I had heard so much about it. In any case, this second go around I was much more engaged.

    The story here is essentially that of the globalist elite and their control over the masses. We're even told near the end, "There ain't no countries anymore. No more good guys. They're running the whole show. They own everything, the whole goddamn planet."

    So these elites use mass media--television, publications, advertising--to subliminally force the population into submission. Obey. Sleep. Don't question authority. These are their messages to us, as the "sleeping middle class" is dismantled in order to create a sharp divide between those at the top and everyone else, so that all the power is concentrated in the hands of the ruling class.

    And if you resist, they send out their army--the police force--in jack boots and riot gear to force compliance. Notice how in the film the police are almost always portrayed militaristically.

    I felt like portraying the elites as aliens was fitting, because the ultra-rich in the world live a lifestyle that is so different from the common man that it might as well be alien.

    Luckily, there is a resistance movement, which Roddy Piper falls into, and they're able to foil the evil plot and win one for the people.

    This is a story that, in a lot of ways, we've been seeing playing out in our own world for years now. I thought that Carpenter found a pretty interesting way to tell it, and the line about how "there ain't no countries anymore" is even more interesting in light of the fact that the Internet as we know it today didn't exist then. Now everything is interconnected on a level that, in 1988, most people weren't even dreaming of.

    In terms of his performance, I thought that Roddy Piper did well. He's no Daniel Day Lewis, and his line delivery could use some work, but he has charm and charisma and he handled the physical components pretty much perfectly. I liked how the film starts out with him just walking around looking TST and bad ass. I also felt like Keith David was perfect for his role. That voice he's got really is something special. And lastly, Meg Foster was great, and I have to ask: What the fuck is up with that bitch's eyes?! If I didn't know any better I'd have thought they were a special effect. They literally look unreal.

    All in all, I enjoyed this film to a surprising degree and now I'd like to pick up the special edition Blu-Ray. From what I read earlier today the commentary with Carpenter and Piper is supposed to be really solid.

    8/10
     
    #9
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  10. MusterX Steel Belt

    MusterX
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    It has a New World Order flavor for sure. I want to respond to you but it will be tomorrow since its late:30 my time.
     
    #10
  11. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    Indeed. Well get back to me tomorrow. I will look forward to your response.
     
    #11
  12. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    Good thoughts. I'll be interested in seeing you go deeper.

    Considering how excited you seemed to watch it, I figured you'd have some pretty good shit stored up in your head for this one.

    Moar!

    Agreed. Epic!
     
    #12
  13. AndersonsFoot Brown Belt

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    Her eyes do look pretty weird. I like them tho.
     
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  14. TheRuthlessOne USFC Champ

    TheRuthlessOne
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    Not really much to say about this movie that hasn't already been said

    I am a firm believer that the fight scene between Piper and David is pretty overrated. It lasts to long and feels out of place in the movie. It's something I would expect from a Mr Bean comedy sketch or something similar

    I would also like to bring up that there has been a lot of talk of Nazi's using this movie as some sort of bible against jewish people

    Carpenter has said that it is all untrue but here are a couple links to a few articles worth a read

    http://www.dailystormer.com/film-di...zis-using-his-movie-they-live-to-expose-jews/

    http://www.spin.com/2017/01/they-live-john-carpenter-nazi-conspiracy/
     
    #14
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  15. the muntjac Brown Belt

    the muntjac
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    I've seen this movie probably a half dozen times are so, and it never gets old. The first time I saw it, I probably wasn't even old enough to drive a car, so a movie with this kind of socioeconomic message seen at that young of age definitely shaped how I view the world today. Seriously, the image of him looking at the money and it reads, "THIS IS YOUR GOD" is burned into my memory. I never would have thought a movie starring a pro-wrestler could ever be so enlightening to real world corruption.

    This movie has it all. Good characters, good story, good directing, memorable lines, good action, you name it. This is a movie that sticks with you, and it sits amongst my DVD collection.

    Although, I always thought it was a little off that the gun he uses to blow up the dish controlling the world is this tiny little peashooter, but that's just me nitpicking. Unless there's some metaphor there I'm not picking up on.

    Awesome movie nonetheless.
     
    #15
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  16. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    It is actually a lot more slow-paced and less action-oriented than a lot of people assume. It takes a while for Piper to put on the glasses. Maybe that's why it doesn't engage with a lot of people.


    I remember Piper on the audio commentary going "Man they really Rodney King'd that guy!" when they're beating up the preacher.:D

    I think it's interesting that he managed to tell it in a very genre-esque, populist way. When directors want to film "serious issues" they're approach tends to be very serious and dramatic too. Carpenter makes a film about the escalating class-divide in America yet presents it squarely as a piece of entertainment.

    Carpenter was one of those guys that first entered the buisness in the dying days of the Studio System. So his outlook on film had always been that the entertainment-bit should always come first. You should never lose sight of that fact that you're making a commerical product, basically.

    Fix'd

    She has treachery-eyes. Whenever she's in a movie I expect her to betray someone.

    That's why Best of the Best 2 didn't work. She doesn't betray anyone! We're really expected to buy this dame as some good-hearted wife? That's just to much to ask man. Shit in Stepfather 2 I expected her to team-up with the serial killer that was going after her!:D

    It's probably a metaphor for the budget running out.<45>
     
    #16
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  17. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    They're fucking otherworldly. I can't believe a human being actually has eyes like that.


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    #17
  18. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    Man I actually remember seeing that interview. It was when they were airing Immortal Combat (which funnily enough also starred Meg Foster)! The movie was really bad though. Which is just a travesty since it has Roddy Piper teaming-up with Sonny Chiba to take out a legion of ninjas. If memory serves Piper also said that he liked Reagan because of the whole "tear down this wall" speech and said he didn't really know anything about economics.
     
    #18
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  19. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    Knowing what I know about conspiracy theories that revolve around the idea that Jews control the world, this does not surprise me in the slightest. In fact, almost immediately when I started watching the movie I thought to myself, "Some people are going to say this is about the Jews."

    But one thing I've noticed just by reading some of the responses in here and reading some other stuff online is that everyone seems to have their own interpretation on what the movie is about, filtered through their own worldview.
     
    #19
  20. shadow_priest_x Steel Belt

    shadow_priest_x
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    Was she in that shit?

    I actually just rewatched that movie a few years ago but I don't remember her.

    I have to give Piper credit for standing up to his own convictions on that one.
     
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